Adding these foods for the best line of defence as you begin to age.
A little while ago, a neighbour visited my home at 7.30 am in complete distress.She was a family friend and needed to speak to my partner about her husband. Her husband’s dementia had become unmanageable at home on her own, and she struggled to come to terms with sending him into a nursing home. I could sympathise with her feelings of being a disloyal wife, sending her husband off when things got tough. But it was tough. This woman was in her 70’s — there was no choice. But it was hard; it would be hard for anyone to make that final decision with their children. Dementia is tough on the sufferer but excruciatingly painful on the family. It can be painful when your partner or parent does not remember who you are. Watching the onset of deterioration until death befalls them is one of the most heartbreaking transitions which no one can prepare you for. Several studies have been conducted on what could prevent the onset of dementia — which may provide some relief for those susceptible to this disease, and antioxidants seem to be the way forward. A high level of particular carotenoid antioxidants in your blood can help to guard against age-related dementia. Individuals with higher levels of antioxidants, lutein+zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin, are less likely to have dementia than peers with lower antioxidants. Investigators have found Lutein and zeaxanthin in leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli and peas. This study was published in Neurology. Antioxidants may help us protect our brains from oxidative stress, which can cause cell damage. This study analysed data from 7283 participants at least 45 years old at baseline for 16–17 years. This analysis concluded — higher levels of lutein+zeaxanthin had a reduced risk of dementia among those 65 and older in models adjusted for lifestyle. Although these vitamins were beneficial at vastly different levels, Vitamins A, E, and lycopene also provided protective effects. Unfortunately, experts are not yet ready to promote the accurate levels of antioxidants needed to promote healthy brain ageing. Therefore, more research will be required to delve deeper to establish the necessary levels of antioxidant intake through diet and supplementation.
Key take away
What can you eat to increase the healthy ageing of your brain? By eating a diet filled with antioxidants! Although there are currently no recommendations for specific supplementation — why not start by eating better, exercising and leading a healthier lifestyle? It’s not hard to understand that today’s typical standardised diet is causing inflammation throughout our lifetime. The more we indulge in highly proceed food, the easier it will become for our bodies to start wearing down, allowing disease to flourish. Although this is no guarantee of success — it’s better than doing absolutely nothing or leaving it up to your doctor’s final diagnosis. Start doing what you can with diet and exercise; you will be way above most people. Here’s the lowdown on what foods will help keep your brain healthy (according to WebMD).
One: Vegetables and grains
Eating salads or vegetables three times a day is ideal. Add spinach, kale, collard greens, and other rich green vegetables into your salad or vegetable mix. I particularly love baking my veggies and enjoy raw salads during the summertime. Dress your salads with antioxidant-rich olive oil and vinegar (preferably apple cider), and don’t forget to add avocado! If you intermittently fast, add a rich green smoothie, including spinach, berries, protein powder, collagen, and a tiny bit of banana. This is a great way to get in more greens and make it easy for your digestive system to absorb the nutrients. Add those whole grains regularly as well.
We all love to snack between meals, but make them healthy by munching on nuts, blueberries, and strawberries as they keep your brain alert and energy levels high.
Three: Plant protein
You don’t have to give up meat entirely, but make it a priority to eat more fish and eliminate as much red meat as possible. Beans such as lentils are high in protein and filled with fibre. In addition, as they are lower in saturated fat than meats, they can lessen the impact of inflammation.
Four: If you need a diet — go Mediterranean or DASH
These nutritional plans are sound and provide you with all the nutrient-rich food you need to lead a healthy & disease-free lifestyle. These are designed to prevent or slow down brain decline as we age. As you can see, brain decline primarily results from inadequate dietary intake. Making the necessary changes could change your life for the better.
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